24th May 2016 Tallaght Hospital is today launching a new campaign to combat malnutrition. The Good Nutrition & Hydration campaign will see a multidisciplinary task team visiting every ward in the Hospital over the next three days in order to educate patients and staff about malnutrition and to highlight the importance of good nutrition and hydration during recovery. This initiative is part of Tallaght Hospital’s series of Zero Harm Campaigns.
The Good Nutrition & Hydration campaign is a reflection of Tallaght Hospital’s values of people caring for people. In addition to visiting every ward, stands will be erected in the Hospital atrium and along the main corridor presenting useful information on nutrition and hydration, as well as the current Hospital initiatives that aim to improve nutritional care. Team members who visit patients throughout the Hospital will also serve afternoon tea and treats from the Hospital chefs. It is hoped that this campaign will help to inform patients about the importance of nutrition and hydration during their recovery and also act as a reminder to staff about their role in recognising malnutrition in their patient’s and working with the Hospital Nutrition & Dietetics department to address the problem.
Estimates suggest that a quarter of all patients who are admitted to hospital are malnourished. Malnutrition is the condition that develops when the body does not get the right amount of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function. Malnourished patients have a much higher risk of infection, longer stays in hospital, greater risks of readmission and more acute mortality risks. The cost of treating malnutrition in Ireland is estimated at €1.4 billion annually.
Daragh Fahey, Director of Quality Safety and Risk Management, said, “Tallaght Hospital is committed to the principle of people caring for people and this campaign is a very important part of this mission. Malnutrition is far too common among patients who present at the Hospital and we hope that our proactive approach to providing more information in an engaging and accessible way will help to reduce the occurrence of this condition. I wish to congratulate the Nutrition and Dietetics Department and the Hospital Nutrition Steering Committee for all their work in making this campaign a reality.”
Sinead Feehan, Manager of the Nutrition and Dietetics Department and Hospital Nutrition Steering Committee member, said, “Over the next three days, we will achieve the ambitious target of visiting every ward in the Hospital and engaging with every patient on this important issue. It is great to see the enthusiasm of my colleagues in not only seeking to make this campaign a reality but also to make it a great success. We want to make a difference in our patients’ lives and to ensure that rates of malnutrition fall.”
The Good Nutrition & Hydration campaign will take place between the 24th and the 26th of May inclusively.
About Tallaght Hospital
Tallaght Hospital is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, providing child-health, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The hospital has 495 adult beds and 67 paediatric bed with 2,600 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialities. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre.
Tallaght Hospital is one of two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. Tallaght Hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.
A new satellite centre is to be built at Tallaght Hospital as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally.
The hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 44,640 Adult ED Attendances and 31,934 Paediatric Attendances in 2014. A further 263,929 patients were treated through the hospital’s outpatient clinics in 2014. The hospital’s operations are supported by a community of 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities.